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The Worship Of Jesus

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#21 Guest_Alethia_*

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 11:45 PM

Appendix 8: Hebrew & Chaldee Words Translated “Worship”

Shachah: (Strongs H7812) See definition on Previous page
Translated in KJV bow down (51), stoop (1), crouch (1), do obeisance (5), do reverence (5), fall down (4), beseech (1), worship (99)

Segad (Strongs H5457): Chaldee used only in Daniel. To bow down, do obeisance, worship (12)

Abad: (Strongs H5647) To work, by impl to serve. When translated as “serve” or “service” it is used for religious service. Also translated “worshippers”(5) in regards to Baal.

Atsab: (Strongs H6087) To make an idol, grieve, worship only 1 time

See also Abodah, Sharath and Yare below, which express aspects of worship but are translated into different English words.

#22 Guest_Alethia_*

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 11:46 PM

Appendix 9: Other Greek Words Used For Bowing Or Falling Down:

These words may be used in as in bowing to a person or god, or simply bending or stooping down. They frequently parallel or supplement Proskuneo

Erotao G2065 request, beseech, intreat, pray
Deomai G 1189 beg, beseech, pray to make request
Gonupeteo G 1120 bow the knee, kneel
Kampto G2578 to bend, used with knee to indicate obeisance
Pipto G4098 fall down
Prospipto G 4363 prostrate in supplication or homage

#23 Guest_Alethia_*

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 11:47 PM

Appendix 10: Other Words Which Express Concepts Of Worship

Service (ceremonial)Leitourgia (Greek - Strongs G 3009) The service or ministry of the priests relative to the prayers and sacrifices offered to God.
Abodah (Hebrew - Strongs H5656) Service of God. Service of Levite singers and doorkeepers. Closest Hebrew equivalent to the modern meaning of the English word “worship”

Minister (ministerial service)

Sharath (Strongs H8334) to attend as a menial or worshipper: fig. To contribute to; minister unto, serve. Similar or synonym to Abad

Reverence, Awe, Fear
Sebas - Greek Root meaning awe or fear

This root is not used by itself, but combined to make a number of words that express aspects of divine or religious reverence or piety, including:

Sebomai - see above
Sebazomai - see above
Sebasma - see above
Theosebees - see above
Usebees (or Eusebees) G2152 - devout
Eusebeo G2151 - piety
Eusebos G2153 - godly, piously
Eusebeia - piety towards God, right worship, often translated “godliness”
asebeia - ungodliness

Notice that although many of these words are translated as “godly,” “godliness,” “ungodliness” etc, they actually have no root for “god” in them at all, but rather a root for piety or reverence. Paul uses these words numerous times (eleven) in his epistles to Timothy.

Phobeo: Greek - (Strongs G5399) To fear, to be in awe of, to reverence
Yar-e’ Hebrew - (Strongs H3372): fear, dread reverence.

#24 Fortigurn



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Posted 19 September 2003 - 11:48 PM

Gear! :phat:

#25 Guest_Alethia_*

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 11:55 PM

Appendix 11: Incidents In Which Jesus Was Worshipped

Matt 2:2,8,11 - Wise men worshipped infant Jesus

Matthew 8:2 - Leper, asking for healing

Matt 9:18 - Jairus, asking Jesus to raise his daughter

Matt 14:33 - Disciples, after he calmed the storm

Matt 15:25 - Syrophoenician woman, asking for healing of son

Matt 20:20 - Mother of Zebedee’s children, asking favor for sons

Matt 28:9 - Disciples, after Jesus' resurrection

Matt 28:17 - The eleven, in a Mt. in Galilee

Mark 5:6 - Demoniac of Gadara, asking Jesus to leave

Mark 15:19 - Roman soldiers, mocking Jesus

Luke 24:51-52 - The eleven, at ascension

John 9:38 - Man born blind, after healing

Phil 2:10 - At the name of Jesus, every knee should bow

Heb 1:6 - Let all the angels of God worship him

#26 Guest_chairete_*

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Posted 20 September 2003 - 02:31 AM

I've lost count of the number of times I've discussed this with people - good to have a thorough analysis at last, instead of just a few vague ideas.

I think it's been said before - the link between 'worship' and 'humility' seems to have been lost on some...

#27 Evangelion



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Posted 20 September 2003 - 10:09 AM

It was Alethia's :alethia: work :construction: that first inspired me :ideas: to begin my own analysis of the "Jesus was worshipped" :bow: :worthy: claim. :cobblers:

I first read this study :book: almost two years ago :oldie: but it's still as fresh and powerful :strong: as ever! :first:
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.


#28 Guest_Alethia_*

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Posted 20 September 2003 - 02:59 PM

A Statistical Look at the Use of Proskuneo

Now, let’s look at some statistics to correct one misimpression about the ways proskuneo is used in scripture. Some have mis-stated that it is used 15 times of Jesus and 45 times of God. Not true.

Proskuneo and the noun proskuneetees occur 61 times in the New Testament:

(a.) It is used of Jesus 15 times, and nearly always with the clear meaning of physically getting down toward the ground in front of him in some way (bowing, kneeling, prostrating, falling down etc). It is never used of church service or church reverence of Jesus.

(b.) It is used 10 times in John 4 in the one conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman, where it is clearly speaking of the religious worship of God, and Jesus uses the word “we” including himself with the rest of the nation of Israel as worshipping God. This is only one of many passages where God is said to be the God of Jesus, and that Jesus himself worships God. The idea of God worshipping himself is self-contradictory. I suppose the trinitarian defense is that as a man he worshipped God, but he still declares God to be his God after the resurrection.

(c.) It is used directly of God 17 other times in addition to John 4, of which 11 are in Revelation.

(d.) It is used 4 times of prostrating to men, Matt 20:20, Acts 10:25 (Cornelius, but rejected by Peter), Rev 3:9 and Heb 11:21 (the last, though not without some ambiguity, almost certainly refers to Jacob bowing in respect to his son Joseph), and twice of John’s attempt to prostrate to some sort of angel or someone in Revelation (rejected).

(e.) It is used 11 times in Revelation of worship of devils, the beast, the dragon, or the image of the beast.

(f.) It is used once specifically in condemnation of idol worship (Acts 7:43)

So, the actual statistics are, Jesus 15; God 26; men (accepted) 3; men/angel (rejected) 3; idol 1, tempter 2; symbolic beasts etc in Rev, 11.

Of the 26 for God, 10 are in the one passage in John, 11 in Revelation, and the other 5 various.

The synoptic gospels use it 18 times, almost entirely of prostrating to Jesus (the only exceptions being Jesus talking to the tempter (same incident in Matt and Luke), and the parable of the debtors.

John’s gospel uses it 12 times, all but two of which are in the one passage in John 4:20-21.

Acts and all Epistles total use it 7 times, 3 times of God.

Revelation uses it 24 times, about half of God and half of others.

Nowhere in the New Testament is the first day meeting or the commanded observance of the “Lord’s supper” ever described as being worship, of any sort. None of the ten Greek words that are ever translated as worship are ever used of the formal meetings or observances of the church. That is a clear indication that our modern use of the English word is different from the concept being conveyed in scripture.

#29 Guest_Alethia_*

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Posted 20 September 2003 - 03:03 PM

Worship is bowing:

When proskuneo is used in a religious sense, either of God or of false gods, we can see in most cases that the sense of prostrating or bowing down is the underlying idea. We can see this with offering proskuneo to God most explicitly in the following, where the believers are said to fall down to worship God:

I Cor 14:25 “ . . .falling on his face he will worship God.”
Rev 4:10 “Fall down . . . and worship”
Rev 7:11 “fell before the throne on their faces and worshipped God”
Rev 19:4 “fell down and worshipped God”

Proskuneo is not a synonym for our modern English word “worship,” which is used of practically any form of religious observance. Rather it carries the meaning of bowing down to something, submitting, making obeisance. Today, we consider simply attending a religious service or singing a hymn to be worship. The Bible generally does not use the word proskuneo in that way, John 4 being probably the closest to an exception, although even there it is likely that the idea of going up to Jerusalem to bow down in prayer and supplication was the implied meaning.

The idea of worship as meaning bowing down is a meaning that has been obscured by current Protestant culture and practice, however in Biblical times and even in some ways today we still see this idea. Many people kneel at the bedside to say their nightly prayers. Catholics, and some other denominations, commonly kneel in church services.

In Biblical times, it was quite common to kneel or prostrate oneself in prayer. For example Daniel, in Daniel 6:10 faced toward Jerusalem and “kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God.” Likewise, the reverence of idols is typically accompanied by kneeling or bowing to the physical object, and taking anther example from Daniel, 3:5, Nebuchadnezzer demanded that his subjects “fall down and worship” the image he set up. Job (1:21) “fell down upon the ground and worshipped.” Moses (Exodus 34:8-9) “made haste, and bowed his head toward th earth and worshipped.” Psalm 95:6 tells us to do the same: “O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the LORD our maker.”

Jesus prostrated himself in submission to God at Gethsemane (Matt 26:39 and Luke 22:41) praying to God, “not my will, but thine be done,” though different Greek words are used to express it.

We should not lose sight of the fact that proskuneo, even when carrying a clearly religious meaning, still has the underlying meaning of bowing down. That is its meaning. This is generally acknowledged by Trinitarians pressing this issue when they refer to Philippians 2:10, where the angels bow to Jesus, even though the Greek word is kamto for bow, which generally has no particularly religious significance.

Bowing down is a sign of humbling oneself in submission, and that is what God requires of us. We are forbidden to bow to idols, because bowing to them is a sign of submitting to the wickedness they imply. It is not merely the offering of praise to God that God demands. In fact, He says that the prayers of those who reject his laws are odious. “True worship” is not some outward ceremonial observance. “True worship” is submitting oneself to God’s will, which is why bowing or prostrating is a fitting description of “true worship.” That does not at all imply that we cannot also bow to and submit to other men in appropriate circumstances, in fact we are explicitly commanded to do so. In the Marriage Service in the Book of Common Prayer, the husband’s promise to his bride is “With my body, I worship thee,” again showing the older English usage of the word, and showing that in those days they thought nothing of ascribing worship to humans, because it was not viewed as necessarily religious, and was used in that case of a pledge of utter loyalty and devotion of a man to his wife.

#30 Evangelion



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Posted 20 September 2003 - 03:04 PM

'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.


#31 Guest_Alethia_*

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Posted 20 September 2003 - 03:13 PM

The Cases of Double Description:

Although Proskuneo means bowing, it does not merely meaning bending over for any reason. It means bowing in a show of honor, entreaty, submission, reverence, awe, fear, or yes, sometimes (as in John 4) even worship.

In some cases there is a double description of the act, such as “fell down and worshipped” (Matt 18:26). Some have asserted that because of those cases of double description, that Proskuneo cannot simply mean bowing, because the cases of double description would then be redundancies. The assertion is that therefore Proskuneo must imply religious or divine worship. The disproof of that assertion of course is that many or most of the examples of the double description are not ones that most people would assert as examples of divine worship. The Matt 18 example for instance is in a parable of a debtor begging for mercy from his human lord.

The other cases of the double description are:

Rev 3:9 (false Jews to “worship before thy feet”) which most commentators agree is not speaking of religious worship.

Mark 15:19 - the Roman soldiers mocked Jesus “bowing their knees they worshipped him.” Here they were obviously mocking him as a “King” not as God, as they gave him mock symbols of kingship - the crown of thorns, the purple robe and the reed scepter.

Matt 2:11 - the Magi “fell down and worshipped him.” This one could be debated, and I expect Trinitarians would cling to the idea that the Magi were worshipping the baby Jesus as God, however what they actually called him was “king of the Jews” and they brought presents suitable for a king. One would have to go beyond speculation to wild imagination to assert that the Magi understood the Trinity and recognized Jesus as God.

Matt 29:9 - after the resurrection, the disciples “held him by the feet and worshipped him.” This is probably the one that Trinitarians would like best, but how we view the intent of the disciples would depend of course on our presuppositions.

So in summary of those, we find that in the five cases where there is a double description, two are not to Jesus or God at all, three are commonly agreed not to be divine worship even by most trinitarian translators and commentators. Only two are even likely to argued as divine worship by most reasonable Trinitarians. So the claim that the double description proves divine worship doesn’t work.

The reason for the double description, is that the “obeisance” of proskuneo can take many physical forms: bowing the head, bowing “low” (from the waist), kneeling on one knee as to a king, kneeling on both knees, falling face down, and touching or kissing the feet. So the double description is not a redundancy: It is a further description of the action.

#32 Guest_Alethia_*

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Posted 20 September 2003 - 03:50 PM

The Romans Soldiers worshipped Jesus - Further detail:

In Mark 15:19 when the Roman soldiers at the trial mocked him, it says they put a crown of thorns on his head, put a purple robe on him and said "Hail, King of the Jews." The crown and purple robe are symbols of human royalty, not godship.

In the parallel in Matt 27:29-30 it says they put a reed in his right had, which was obviously intended as the mock scepter of a king. Both accounts says they hit him with a reed, hitting him with his scepter.

The words they said (King of the Jews) seem fairly clear that they were mocking him as a supposedly false king. That was in fact the crime for which the Romans ostensibly crucified him. Pilate asked him that in 15:2, referred to him that way in 15:9, and put that superscription on the cross, where it was customary to write what the crime was for which the crucifixion was the punishment. Blasphemy was not a Roman crime, it was a Jewish crime.

The Roman soldiers of course are not necessarily good theological authorities on the nature of Christ, so they could have been wrong, but I think the record is clear that their feigned "worship" was in mockery of Jesus as King of the Jews, not as Son of God, or God the Son or any such theological concept. The evidence of the context of this record seems to pretty clear that it was as a false human king they were mocking him, not as a false God. The obvious conclusion on Mark 15:19 is that it was not an indication of any suggestion of Christ’s divinity.

This incident clearly shows that proskuneo was a customary act of honor shown to a human emperor, and confirms that it does not necessarily contain an implication of divine worship. Also, we should notice that the KJV says, "bowing their knees they worshipped him," which includes the double description or "redundancy" element, but that seems to be descriptive of the exact action they took, implying kneeling as you might imagine a subject kneeling before a king. Notice the parallel account in Matthew 27:29 which does not use the word worship (in any translation), but says, "and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews." I think this is about as clear as it could be that this mock worship was as human king not as God.

#33 Guest_Alethia_*

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Posted 20 September 2003 - 04:02 PM

True Worship:

The unfortunate thing about the word “worship” is that it has come to be used in a significantly different way than Scripture uses it. When you ask people what they mean by it, you will almost always get an answer that has but little connection to the scriptural meanings.

Today, the English word has come to connote primarily “going to church.” We speak of “houses of worship” meaning churches, cathedrals, synagogues, temples, mosques etc. Worship is generally taken to mean adoration of God or the similar feelings associated with church ritual and ceremony. The modern connotation is on praise, usually ritual, musical or ceremonial. While that has some relationship to a minor use of the word in Scripture, it reflects major misconceptions about what the divinely inspired writers were saying.

Scripture never, as far as I have been able to tell, uses ANY of the Greek words ever translated in the KJV as worship, with regard to the meetings of the church, or of the communion. Of course, there are not a lot of references to the first day meeting, so to some extent that alone could be less than conclusive, however in general that is simply not what scripture is talking about when it talks about worship. That does not in any way minimize the importance of the assembly. It clearly is important, and we are commanded to assemble together. However Scripture strongly criticizes a form of “religion” that is based on ceremonial or ritual observance. Jesus minced no words in his condemnation of the hypocritical Scribes and Pharisees, who were obsessive in their Sabbath observances and their adherence to the ritual aspects of the Law, but lost the true meaning behind it, which was about mercy, justice, truth, love, caring for one another, and a true love of God and of the principles of God.

Paul too criticizes those who have a: “form of religion but deny the power of it.” ‘Form’ of course refers to a merely outward appearance, which is far too often what “public worship” amounts to: a “Show.” It is entertainment, not worship.

Worship has come to be strongly associated with music. “Liturgy,” which comes from the Greek “Leiturgia” has changed from the original meaning of “service” to one of referring to the forms, rituals, ceremony, musical compositions, formulaic prayers and such. The idea of actual Service (meaning to be a servant and do what our Master commands) has been lost, and instead the idea is substituted of paying lip service and putting on a show. We say how wonderful God is and we praise Jesus Christ, and then the "worshipper" goes out and does whatever he wishes in his own private interest and for his own gain, caring little for anyone but himself. Worship in Scripture is rarely, if ever, about singing songs of praise.

When people call a church “The House of the Lord,” they can easily get the misimpression that God somehow lives there. Scripture tells us that “the LORD God dwells not in temples made with hands.” Going to church should not be about going to visit God. God should live with us every minute. The purpose of the first day assembly is remembrance. The communion is done in “remembrance” of Christ, not in “worship” of him. “Communion” means fellowship. When we share communion, we are sharing together with our fellows, our brother and sisters, and seeking to give strength and receive strength from each other. It is a very important thing to do. It is not “worship.”

Worship has also come to be strongly associated with praying. Churches are viewed as places to go to pray. Again, this is not generally the way the words for worship are used in scripture. Prayer is one thing. Worship is something else. Praying is about asking for things FROM God. Worship is about offering what little we can TO God. To paraphrase John Kennedy: “Ask not what God can do for you, but what you can do for God.”

Worship is fundamentally submission. Worship is to offer the tokens or promises of submission, and then to do what we have committed to do. To worship is offer ourselves to God - to dedicate ourselves to doing what he has asked us to do.

#34 Guest_Alethia_*

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Posted 20 September 2003 - 04:07 PM

Ritual is not worship:

I have not been able to find any scriptures that describe the Sunday meeting as “worship.” I have not been able to find any scriptures that use any of the other related words for similar concepts to describe the Sunday meeting. Why is this? Does this mean that Sunday meeting is not worship? If not, what is it?

I have not found any scriptures in which Christ himself gave us any instruction regarding meeting together week to week, or of any ceremonial observance. The only thing he told us to do was to remember him in the sharing of bread and wine – to share a meal together in fellowship. Other than that, he never told us to put on our best clothes to get together and sing hymns, do the Bible readings, listen to an exhortation and hold group prayers. He told us to pray in private, in our own closets. By his own example, he did go to the synagogue on the sabbath to read the scripture and to speak about them. Paul filled us in on how we ought to act when we do assemble for this common meal of fellowship.

Generally Israel under the Old Covenant was not told to occupy the Sabbath day with ritual observances. The masses of people in the nation did not and could not go to Jerusalem each Saturday to do sacrifice. If they had attempted to do so, they would surely have violated the commandments regarding the Sabbath. At some late date, after the return from exile, the synagogue system was developed for Sabbath observance, however this was not in any way an ordinance of God and there was nothing about it that represented ritual or ceremonial worship. It was a Bible class and group fellowship, not a temple. To relate what was done in the synagogue with what was done in the temple would have been a serious violation of the Law. God established no requirement for a once per week “worship", by way of ritual and ceremony. Any such weekly ceremony was the creation of man, not God. The true worship that God seeks is not the ritual symbolic sacrifice we partake of in the bread and wine, rather that true worship that God seeks is the broken spirit and contrite heart that turns away from doing our own will and turns instead to doing God’s will every single day.

It is not ritual or ceremonial observance that God wants from us. It is true heart felt love, commitment, obedience, and that we are to be doing the things he has asked us to do: caring for each other, actively showing love to our neighbors and proclaiming his glory to all that will hear. (Romans 12:1): ”Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service”

It is WE who need the memorial service each Sunday. God does not need it. He ordained it for us, not for himself. Without equating the Sabbath to Sunday, which are not the same, I believe that the principle that Jesus stated applies equally to both, when he said that the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. He did not create us so that once each week we could go to meeting and give praise to him. Rather he created the weekly meeting so that once each week we can get together to be reminded of what he did for us and to be re-inspired and re-confirmed in our desire to serve him and render true worship to him the other six days. Our lives should be in the proportion of one part reminder to six parts of doing, rather than of one part doing and six parts slacking off.

#35 Guest_Alethia_*

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Posted 20 September 2003 - 05:03 PM

An Exchange with The Lockman Foundation – Translators of the New American Standard Bible

Lest I be accused of bad amateur Greek scholarship (amateur yes, bad no) I had the following exchange with the Lockman Foundation, which is the organization that translated and publishes the New American Standard Bible, often cited as one of the most accurately literal modern translations. The Lockman Foundation website offers question and answer access to the translation board, responsible for the translation. It appears that their first response was by someone who was inexpert and did not think it through carefully. When I pointed out the error in that response, they referred it to the translation board for the second response. My questions are in blue and Lockman's responses are in red.

Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2001 11:19 AM
To: forms@lockman.org
Subject: Feedback Form

From: (me)
The Greek word Proskuneo is sometimes translated as "worship"
and sometimes translated as "bow to" or "bow down to." Why do
you use different translations in different places, and how
did you decide which to use in which cases? I notice that some-
times when it is used of Jesus it is translated as worship, and
other times as bow or the like. Also, in Rev 3:9 it appears
from your translations that this refers to bowing in humility to
the members of the church, but some commentators contend that it
indicates bowing in worship to God in the presence of the church.
Which do you think it means, and why, and how did you decide to
translate it the way you did?

Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2002 11:26:14 -0800
From: Carole Holdinski <lockman@lockman.org>
Subject: RE: Feedback Form
To: (me)
Importance: Normal
Dear Friend in Christ,

Here is the answer to your recently submitted question regarding the
translation of "proskuneo":

The word proskuneo means to prostrate oneself (bow down) and may or may not
carry with that the idea of worship. When worship is intended, it is
preferable to translate the word as such. Therefore the choice of
translation depends on the context. If another word for worship is in the
immediate context, proskuneo is translated as "bow down" or something
similar to avoid redundancy. When Jesus (or God) is the object of the verb,
it is inferred that worship is the correct idea because of Jesus' deity.
to Rev 3:9, it seems clear that the context makes the church members the
object of proskuneo. One could argue the position you mention as a matter of
interpretation, but our concern would be that readers might infer that
worship of humans is acceptable under certain circumstances
. Since proskuneo
need not always refer to worship, we think the simpler solution is to avoid
that denotation here. Otherwise, a word of explanation would be essential,
but there would be room for an adequate explanation only in reference
editions of the Bible.

From: (me)
Sent: Monday, January 07, 2002 9:19 PM
To: Carole Holdinski
Subject: A followup question to your feedback response
For Carole Holdinski

Dear Carole,

Thank you very much for the prompt and very helpful response to my question, which I am including below. I greatly appreciate the help. I hope it is OK to ask a followup question, as there was something that was not quite clear.

The response says that if another word for worship is in the immediate context, proskuneo is translated as “bow down” or something to avoid redundancy. You also say that when Jesus or God is the object of the verb, it is inferred that worship is the correct idea.

In the following passages, Jesus is the object of the verb proskuneo, and there is no other word for worship in the immediate context, yet you have translated it as bow down. I am wondering why that is so.

Matt 8:2 “And behold, a leper came to Him, and bowed down to Him saying, “Lord, if you are willing, You can make me clean”

Matt 9:18 “behold there came a synagogue official, and bowed down before Him, saying, “My daughter has just died; but come and lay Your hand on here, and she will live.”

Matt 15:25 “But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”

Matt 20:20 “The the mother of the sons of Zebedee cam to Him with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him.”

Mark 5:6 “And seeing Jesus from a distance, he ran up and bowed before Him.”

Mark 15:19 “And the kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting at Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him.”

Do those instances indicate that you think that the bowing down in these instances was possibly not actually worship of Jesus as deity, but merely bowing down to him as a man for some other reason?

Since none of these instances are of the kind you refer to as having another word for worship in the context, can you point me to those instances that do?

Thank you so much for your help.

Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2002 11:11:26 -0800
From: Carole Holdinski <lockman@lockman.org>
Subject: RE: A followup question to your feedback response
To: (me)
Importance: Normal
Dear Mr. MacDougall,

Thank you for contacting The Lockman Foundation.

In response to your inquiries of January 7th, we apologize for the length of
time it took to get back to you. Sometimes when a question such as yours
needs special attention, it is forwarded to the translation board and they
will answer as time permits. We thank you for your patience in this matter.

The Editorial Board writes:
Thank you for your observations. We should have been more specific in saying
that it is "preferable" to translate proskuneo as worship under the
conditions that we cited. It is certainly true that the choice of
translation depends on the context, and sometimes it is difficult to decide
between "bow down" and "worship". When there is probably uncertainty about
Jesus' deity in the mind of the person bowing down, it seems best to
translate proskuneo simply as bowing down, focusing on the physical aspect
of the verb
. Matt 8:2, 9:18, and 15:25 could fit under this category, and in
Mark 15:19 there is clearly no worship
. This translation might also be
preferable in some instances where true worship may be taking place, but
"bow down" just fits the wording of the context better and can be inferred
as an act of true worship, as is the case in Matt 20:20.

We hope you find our web site www.lockman.org informative. To ask and answer
Bible questions please visit www.StudyBibleForum.com. If you are looking for
a Bible try www.FindaBible.com.

We appreciate your inquiry and are happy to communicate with you to address
any special needs regarding the New American Standard Bible or anything
produced by The Lockman Foundation.

-- The Lockman Foundation

Phone: (714) 879-3055 Fax: (714) 879-3058
Web Sites: www.lockman.org, www.StudyBibleForum.com, www.FindaBible.com
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Notice a couple of things.

First, notice that they say that the choice of “worship” vs. “bow down” is a choice of the translator, and that Proskuneo is indeed used of acceptable obeisance to non-divine humans. This directly confirms my opinion on the meaning of Proskuneo. They don’t like to use the word “worship” in those cases, for fear that: “readers might infer that worship of humans is acceptable under certain circumstances.” Yet, it is the SAME word in Greek, which they freely admit IS acceptable to humans in certain circumstances. Does anyone see the obvious inconsistency there?

Second, they flat out admit that their use of “worship” is based upon their presumption of the deity of Christ. They think Jesus is God, therefore they used the word “worship.” For readers to then turn around and say that because the word “worship” is used of Jesus, therefore Jesus must be God, is clearly circular reasoning. Notice also that they make no bones about the fact that their translation, one of the best, is in fact biased by Trinitarianism.

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